Chapter 3 : Mysterious Notes
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Hermione let herself relax now that she remembered she had her own flat, and fell back onto the bed. The past couple of nights have been quite odd. Between the dream of that house and her sleepwalking to a port key… She eyes widened with shock as she realized that she could have been kidnapped last night if it hadn’t of been for Fred. Where is Fred anyways? She asked herself and looked around the room, already distracted from the port key dream. Hermione got off the bed and started to head into the living room.
“Fred? Are you here?” She asked the room. When no response came she walked further into the living room, she was automatically wary because of last nights events. The room was decorated red and black, the couches were stylish and the tables matched every aspect of the living room. She looked around the room amazed at what had happened.
Fred must of done all of this last night, or early this morning. She thought to herself as she worked her way into the kitchen. The table that was in the living room yesterday was now here, and it was transformed into a table that matched the rest of the room. The kitchen was the same as the living room, sleek counters, dazzling cabinets. It looks like an interior designer worked on this overnight! She thought, completely amazed how her flat changed overnight. “Fred? Fred?!?” She called again.
Then she heard a voice coming from the bathroom along with some cursing. Her heart leapt and she tiptoed to the bathroom door. She could tell the light was on, from the glow from underneath the door. She lifted her hand and was about to knock, but a thought crossed her mind. What if it isn’t Fred? What if it’s the voice who tried to kidnap me last night? Her heart started the drum fast as she lifted her hand again to knock. It has to be Fred. She encouraged herself. She stood up straight and went to knock but the door suddenly opened.
“Hermione?” Fred asked as if he couldn’t believe she was standing right there when the door opened. “Why are you up so early?”
She eyed him, all her fear she had a second ago vanishing, and then she tried to look behind him. But he quickly shut the door behind him. “What have you been doing all night?” She counter asked him.
He let out a breath. “Well, I was hoping you would sleep for another two hours, love.” He said, “I mean it is six o’clock in the morning!” He said, with an incredulous look on his face.
“Well, it is Monday. I’m starting my job for the daily prophet today.” Hermione said, clearly happy to have her own job and flat.
“Oh… Yea, forgot about that.” He said, beaming at Hermione.
“Wait… Wait, wait, you changed the subject! What were you doing in the bathroom?” She asked.
He looked at his feet and smirked. “Well, I thought, you had a rough night last night, ya know with the sleepwalking and all… So I decided to decorate your flat!” He raised his arms to show off the marvelous room, as he beamed at his brilliant work. “I was just finishing up the bathroom… When a spell went wrong, gesturing with his hands to the front of his shirt that was splattered with a rainbow of colors of paint.
“Oh, thank you Fred!” She said, and went to hug him, but remembered the paint of his chest and didn’t. “That’s really sweet of you, and it’s exactly how I pictured it!” She said as she looked around the house.”
Fred beamed at her, “I knew you would like it, love!” He stretched out his arms, “I think I deserve a hug!” He said, still beaming.
Hermione took a step back to try and get out of his reach, but she forgot how long Fred’s arms were and got caught up in his embrace. She let out a gleeful scream when she felt the wet paint soak into her nightgown. “Fred!” She screamed.
He let her down, and they looked into each others eyes. “So what does the bathroom look like?” She asked and broke the stare and looked at the bathroom door, and started to move towards it.
Fred quickly put himself between the door and Hermione. “You can’t look yet! It’s not done, Love.” He gave her a smirk, “You’ll love it, I promise! You have to wait till it’s done to look though!”
Hermione looked at him with a confused expression. “How am I supposed to get ready then?”
Fred looked at her, clearly thinking of a solution quickly. “Uh— uh— maybe you could— uh— go to the— Burrow!” He smiled at his idea, and looked down at Hermione, who didn’t look too thrilled. “Or I could just blind fold you and you’d have to feel your way around. It’s pretty much done, just a few touches here and there.” He looked at her uneasily.
Hermione let out a sigh. “I’ll start getting ready over in the room, I guess I really don’t need a shower…” Fred’s face lit up. “Do you work today?” Hermione questioned.
“Not today.” He said, beaming. “George is running the joke shop today. I’m running it tomorrow.”
“Mm, alright, well…” Hermione was interrupted by a big owl smashing into the window. “Goodness!” She yelled as she hurried to open the window. “The owl swooped in and landed on the couch in the living room and held it’s foot out to Hermione.
“Who’s it from?” Fred asked.
“My mum, even though they aren’t fond of magic, they still like to have contact with me.” She said, answering the question on Fred’s face.
“What does it say?” Fred asked, his face full of curiosity.
“Hm… They are asking me how everything is going with my new flat, and they want to visit me soon. Oh, and they also say an old family friend is visiting, and that I probably won’t remember the friend because I was little when I met him.” She said still reading the rest of the letter.
Fred raised an eyebrow. “Him? How old is he?” He asked with a more serious tone.
“Actually they don’t say if the family friend is male or female.” She said playfully. “But my mum does say that he or she is the same age as me and we used to be best friends.” She looked up at Fred with a confused look. “Weird how I don’t remember these things.”
“Yea, I don’t remember some of my childhood either.” He said rubbing the back of his head. “But hopefully it’s not a guy…” He said quietly.
Hermione looked at him and gave him a hug. “If it’s a guy, don’t worry. I promise he won’t swoon me…” She said jokingly and then on a more serious tone, “Plus, if he, or she, is an old family friend it would be too weird to like him and all that jazz.”
“I guess…” He said not sounding convinced.
“Don’t worry about it Fred.” She said soothingly.
Hermione put her hands around his neck and kissed him softly on the lips and then ran off to find some parchment to write her parents back.
“Wait… So when are you going to visit this family friend?” Fred asked.
“I’m not sure, my mum didn’t mention when she wanted me to come over, or if they were bringing the friend here. You know, it is kind of weird that she didn’t mention the friends name. Usually she tells me everything!” Hermione said.
“Well if they do come here, they are going to be blown away by the style of this place!” Fred beamed.
Hermione sighed, she then looked at the clock. “It’s seven!!” She screamed, and she ran into her room. She could hear Fred chuckling in the other room. Hermione got dressed in record time, she found a black slack skirt in her bottom drawer along with a black and pink jumper. Good enough for a first day working for the Daily Prophet! She thought to herself as she examined herself in the mirror.
She used a spell to make her hair less frizzy, and then another one to make it look cleaner. Her hair went past her petite shoulders. Her waist was small and she had curves all in the right places, she thought anyways.
Hermione walked out of her room and into the living room where Fred was coming out of the bathroom again. He gave her the once over with his eyes. “Nice.” He said and gave Hermione a smile. Hermione beamed back, and walked up to him and gave him a hug and a kiss.
“So are you going to stay here and work on the bathroom?” She asked.
“Yeah, I figured I should get it done before you get home, that way you can actually go to the bathroom.” Fred laughed.
“Ha ha. Yea, that would be nice.”
“So, do you have an idea who put that port key on the chair?” Fred asked.
Hermione’s eyes opened wide, the sudden question surprised her and the fact that she had forgotten all about the sleep walking dream. “I haven’t got a clue…” She said after a minute. “The voice in my dream telling me to grab the necklace sounded familiar…” She said softly.
“Hm… You should tell someone at the Ministry about it, Love.” Fred concluded. “It’s not everyday someone is almost kidnapped by a port key.”
Hermione zoned out thinking why she had forgotten about the dream so easily. Usually, if someone had a dream like hers or almost got kidnapped they would be freaking out, but as of right now, she didn’t really care. This struck her as odd, and Fred as well didn't seem to worried.
“Hermione? Are you listening?” Fred asked concern in his eyes.
Hermione saw this and quickly answered, “Oh, yea, sorry I was just thinking…”
“Why we aren’t taking this seriously?” He finished the sentence for her, Hermione nodded. “I guess we are just some distracted people.” He concluded jokingly.
She gave him a weak smile and wondered again why they weren’t at the Ministry right now telling them about what had happened. “I’ll go to the Ministry today and tell them.”
“Please do.” Fred said softly. “I don’t want anything to happen to you, Love.” He said with a serious look on his face.
Fred was still holding Hermione, and Hermione gave him one last kiss before leaving for work. “I’ll see you later today, Fred.”
Then Hermione apparated to the building that contained the Daily Prophet, the whole time thinking about Fred, and hoping that the voice doesn’t try to kidnap her again before she gets to the Ministry. She let out a sigh. And I thought living alone would be worry free. She thought and smiled to herself. Well I’m not really living alone… She kept smiling till she got to the front desk.
“Can I help you?” The old witch behind the counter said. She had a hoarse voice that made Hermione wince.
“It’s my first day at work here.” Hermione said.
“Name” The old witch demanded.
“Uh— Hermione Granger.”
“Ah, the new Muggle related article editor.” The witch said, “Pretty big job for a newbie.” She said as she looked at Hermione through her small glasses.
“Yeah, well my parents are…”
She was cut off by the old witch. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll get someone to show you to your office.” The witch stated harshly, and then did something with her wand and an elf showed up by the desk.
The elf’s little voice was soft and humble. “Yes Mrs. Ruglye?”
“Show Mrs. Granger…”
“Miss.” Hermione corrected the witch.
“Hem, Miss Granger to the Muggle Related Articles floor.”
“Yes, of course Mrs. Ruglye” The little elf squeaked. “This way Miss Granger.” The elf showed her up to the second floor. “Pixie doesn’t do this often, usually only with visitors, those who can’t apparate.”
“Uh— Pixie? Do they treat you well here?” Hermione asked, concerned for the little elf.
“Very nicely, Miss Granger. They feed Pixie and cloth Pixie, but Pixie doesn’t leave because Pixie likes it here at the Daily Prophet!” The little elf squeaked with enthusiasm.
Hermione sighed. S.P.E.W. hadn’t been a great success at Hogwarts nor outside of Hogwarts, but she still does what she can for the house elfs. Hermione still believes they deserve proper treatment.
“Here’s your office Miss Granger.” The elf squeaked before vanishing in midair.
Hermione didn’t get a chance to say thank you, so she looked at the door. It read:
Muggle Related Articles
Some of them were welcome greetings, others were giving her advice on editing, and some were telling her how to set up her office properly for efficient editing. This isn’t so bad. She thought, and then the sleep walking dream made it’s way to the front of her mind.
“Ah!” She exclaimed aloud. “I get out at… Four o’clock in the afternoon… Okay, I’ll go to the Ministry then.” Hermione said trying to calm her nerves. She tried to distract herself by thinking of other things. Fred came to the front of her head and she smiled. Hermione definitely likes Fred, he’s always there for her, and he protects her, even to the point where she might love him. But she isn’t to sure about that yet, she’ll figure it out soon.
Hermione leaned back in her chair and looked around her office for the first time that day. It was a good sized office, the desk was located away from the door and her chair was behind it of course. There was another desk to her side for organizing articles. There were a couple of chairs in front of her desk that didn’t look as comfy as hers, but she was sure they were good enough. There was a book shelf assorted with different kinds of books, from Questions about an Editor to How Muggles See Vampires and Werewolves. Her eyes wondered along the room to another book shelf looking cabinet, but it had different objects, clearly things that Muggles use in every day life.
There was a mini-television on the top shelf. Hermione laughed at herself thinking how a lot of wizards and witches here think TV’s are weird. Of course she always used one when she came home for the summer from Hogwarts.
Her eyes drifted down the shelves, where they landed on an oddly shaped rock. Her curiosity boomed as she wondered why a rock would be on the shelf. Hermione got up and walked over to the shelf. She picked up the rock and examined it. It looked like a roughly cut ruby. Must of made it on the shelf because it was cut with something that a Muggle made. She thought.
Suddenly an owl swooped in and landed on the desk, scattering memos and parchment everywhere. Hermione hurried toward it and took it’s letter off it’s leg. The owl hooted at her and flew off through the window. She opened the letter, the rock still in her hand, and read it.
Just wanted to make sure you are okay…
You know how I worry, well, not really
Because I don’t worry much, but I’m
Worried about you! Be safe!
She smiled at the thought of Fred writing this letter. It’s almost worth coming to work if I’m going to get mail from him. She thought, clutching the parchment to her chest.
Just then another owl came swooping into the room viciously. It hooted loudly several times at Hermione. It seemed to be looking at her than the rock clutched in her hand. The owl charged at her hand pecking it until she dropped the rock on the floor.
“Ow!” She screamed and started to nurse her scratched hand. The owl hooted at her again and stuck it’s leg out at her. She carefully untied it, and watched the owl, expecting it to fly away, but it just sat there as it’s eyes shift between Hermione and the rock on the ground.
She opened the letter and read it.
Don’t touch the rock.
Hermione looked from the letter to the ruby to the owl. Confusion spread all over her face and then the rock disappeared. She put her hand over her mouth to keep herself from screaming. She quickly started writing a letter to Fred, explaining what had happened. Hermione hoped he would make some sense out of what just happened. She also asked how did he know not to touch the rock. She tied the letter to the owl’s leg, and gave it a treat and told it to deliver the letter to Fred Weasley. She sat on her chair, refusing to touch anything else in the room.
A different owl came into the window, and she took the letter and opened it.
Don’t tell the Ministry.
Hermione looked at all three letters. The first letter had different writing then the last two. It wasn’t Fred who knew then. She concluded. Her head started to race, as she thought of who might of sent the letters. Nobody came to mind and Hermione never got a reply letter from Fred when four o’clock came around. She had looked at a couple of articles in her department to pass the time, which didn’t help.
She got up quickly gathered her things quickly and apparated back to her flat. She immediately dropped her things on the floor and ran through out the flat screaming, “Fred! Fred! Where are you!”
She heard panicky footsteps from her room, and without thinking she ran to her room and threw open the door. “Fred!”
“What!?” He asked in a hurried tone and rushed over to her. She trembled to the floor but Fred caught her in time and carried her over the bed and set her down. “What’s wrong, Love?” he asked again soothingly.
Hermione was crying right now, the afternoon’s events came crashing down on her mind. “Another key p-p-port!” She managed to say, before she started sobbing again.
Fred’s eyes widened and he wrapped Hermione in his arms. “Calm down, Hermione, it’s going to be okay.” He soothed. “We’ll go to the Ministry and get Aurors searching for the person who’s trying to kidnap you.”
Hermione looked up at him. “I d-don’t think…” She sobbed, “We sh-should go t-to the Min-ministry.” She finally said.
“Why not?” He said with an incredulous look.
“I s-sent you a let-letter.” Hermione said now calmed down but still taking uneven breaths. “Di-Did you not g-get it?” She asked.
“I didn’t get anything from an owl today.” He said calmly.
Hermione realized that the owl probably went back to the person who sent her the two other letters. She quickly told him what happened at the office.
Fred gave her a panicked look, “So maybe this mysterious person is helping you out?” He said with an unsure tone.
“I think so, that’s why I don’t want to tell the Ministry.” Hermione said. “Maybe it’s out of their control, or something like that.”
Fred didn’t like this idea one bit, and Hermione could see it on his face.
“I know you don’t want to trust this person. But, he saved me from getting kidnapped for the second time in twenty four hours. Let’s just see what happens, and I promise if anything seems dangerous, I’ll tell the Ministry with no hesitation.” Hermione pleaded.
“Uh, I guess we’ll see. I just don’t want to see you get hurt ‘Mione…” He said softly looking at his feet.
“Don’t worry, Fred.” She said soothingly and reached up and kissed him deeply. His arms around her tightened and she felt protected. She looked up into his eyes, and saw he was about to say something but he shut his mouth. “What were you going to say?” She asked.
“Uh— I was just going to suggest you eat something, after your stressful day…” He said quickly.
“Oh… Alright, let’s go eat something out of the kitchen.” She said with her head leaning against Fred’s chest. That wasn’t what he was going to say. She thought.
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